Barriers in implementing the National Single Window

VCN- The lack of synchronous coordination amongst ministries and inter-agencies is still the biggest barrier in enhancing the National Single Window (NSW) and meeting targets and expectation from the business community.
barriers in implementing the national single window
Hai Phong Seaports are the first areas to apply the NSW (in November 2014). In photo are the import and export activities at Nam Hai Dinh Vu seaport in Hai Phong (Photo: T.Bình)

Technical matter

At the meeting on the duties of the last 6 months of the year 2016 by the General Department of Customs recently, Mr. Nguyen Manh Tung – Director of the Information Technology and Statistics Department (The General Department of Customs – the Standing Agency of the National Steering Board of the National Single Window and ASEAN Single Window) said that the connection of NSW in terms of technical matters required the synchronization of IT systems of related agencies. In fact, their infrastructure has not been completed, unready for connection. Meanwhile, it takes time to invest and develop IT systems with complicated procedures. Thus, the progress would not be assured.

Several units that already have the IT systems for undertaking administrative formalities via electronic means also face the same problem in integrating into the NSW. The Border Guard Command may be selected as an example. The pilot implementation of electronic procedures in the border guard was carried out in 2011. The operation was not officially conducted until July 21, 2016. Experiencing the 5 year - pilot, the connection between the IT system for e-border guard procedures and the NSW remains obstacles because of lacking the uniformity of the two systems.

In order to solve the technical issues, Mr. Nguyen Manh Tung said that it was not necessary for ministries which did not have many formalities on the NSW to invest in developing a new IT system. They can use the simplified functions on the portal for direct performance of the formalities instead. This solution was applied during the experimental period of the NSW at seaports. The stakeholders involved such as Border Guard and Sanitary Inspector can use their accounts on the NSW to handle transactions with people and businesses.

In addition to technical barriers, the IT and Statistics Department was of the view that the NSW also met other sorts of difficulties: the framework of legal documents regulating import, export and international transport had not been reviewed thoroughly to ensure uniform implementation of the NSW. Ministries and related agencies had not been determined to implement the NSW because the method of performance was new. Moreover, the ministries are still concerned about their responsibilities in dealing with dossiers and really did not put trust in the system’s stability.

Prompt accomplishment of the National Steering Committee

In order to push up and raise the efficiency of the NSW in the coming time, the General Department of Customs proposed that ministries should focus on implementation of the recent direction by the Deputy-Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue – the Head of the National Steering Board of the NSW and ASEAN SW. The tasks are as follows: submission to the Prime Minister to establish the National Steering Committee of the NSW and ASEAN SW and trade facilitation; consolidation of contact points and members of the National Steering Board, reporting to the Prime Minister for approval of the NSW and ASEAN SW implementation plan for the period 2016 – 2020, of which supplementing publication of the NSW and ASEAN SW Handbook; working with functional agencies to propose a mechanism of invest in IT for the NSW performance. A decision on e-formalities for ships entering, exiting seaports, internal waters and off-shore petrol terminals via the NSW…should be submitted to the Prime Minister for release.

Besides, the Standing Agency would coordinate with associated ministries to expand nationwide officially connected procedures as well as consider to increase the amount of formalities as registered by related agencies. E-payment on the NSW should also be carried out. The ASEAN SW connection should be implemented right after 10 country members ratify the Protocol of the legal framework for the ASEAN SW. Licensing regulations by ministries should be made public on the NSW…

By T.Binh/ Phuong Lien

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